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Create a Cheeky Zombie with Basic Shapes and the Shape Builder Tool

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In a today's tutorial we are going to draw a creepy zombie! It is a good character for beginners in Adobe Illustrator. The reason being is that zombies have lumps, bumps and body parts out of proportion, so you don't need to worry about it. One more reason to draw a zombie is it's Halloween. Let's get to it and stick with us as there is a cheeky surprise at the end!


Step 1

Let's start by drawing the head with the Ellipse Tool (L). With the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), add four points in between the points of the ellipse.

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move the points. You should get the shape of the head zombie. The green arrows in the diagram below illustrate the direction the points are moving.


Step 2

Make two copies of the head. I filled the top copy with gray to make it clearer. You should reduce the size of this copy and move it slightly to the side. Select both copies after that. Use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M) and hold down the Alt key to delete unnecessary parts. You should get the shape of the shadow on the face. Fill the shadow with darker color. Also, you can correct the shape of the shadow with the Direct Selection Tool (A). I fixed the chin for example.


Step 3

Now to add the facial features. Using the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an even circle. This will be the eye-socket. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move points as shown in the image below.


Step 4

Draw another Ellipse (L). This time, make it a slimmer. Then drag and drop this ellipse to the Brushes panel and create a New Art Brush.

Use the Paintbrush Tool (B) to draw an eyebrow. Go to Object > Expand Appearance to transform it into an object.


Step 5

Draw an Ellipse (L). Then use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to edit anchor points. You should get the shape of the nostril.

Move the nostril into place. Now we have half of the face. Then right click your mouse to select Transform > Reflect. We need to make a reflection to finish it. Click the Copy button in the Reflect Panel.


Step 6

The face is not ready yet. But we can place it on the head. Then draw a gray ellipse as shown in the image below.

Draw a white ellipse for an eye over the first one.

Select both ellipses and create a copy for second eye. Use the Selection Tool and hold down the Alt key and drag these ellipses.


Step 7

Take the Line Segment Tool and hold down the Shift key to draw a line.

Open the Stroke panel and give the line Round Caps and a large Stroke Weight.

Then right click your mouse to select Transform > Rotate. Set 90 degrees and click the Copy button in the Rotate Panel.

Go Object > Expand to transform these lines into an objects.

Then place this cross to the eye and make a copy for second eye.


Step 8

For the mouth, use the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle. Then use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move anchor points.

Use hot keys Command + C and Command + F to create a copy of the mouth. Next you should reduce the size of this copy and fill with darker color.


Step 9

Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to draw a lot of gray rectangles for the teeth. You need to delete protruding parts with the Shape Builder Tool (M).


Step 10

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw shapes as shown in the image below.

Then select the teeth and these forms. Take the Shape Builder Tool (M) and delete all white parts.


Step 11

Draw two black rectangles. They should cover the teeth a little bit. Use the Shape Builder Tool (M) to delete redundant parts as shown in the image below. Set Opacity 15% in Transparency Panel for these shapes. Then group all. Object > Group (Command + G).


Step 12

Select the mouth and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Use this function to distort the mouth slightly. Go Object > Expand Appearance once done.


Step 13

My zombie looked very creepy once I had moved the mouth into place. So I decided to make it a more positive. But if you really want to scare someone you can leave the face terrible and evil.

Turn evil mouth into a smile. Right click your mouse to select Transform > Reflect. Make a reflection as shown in the image below.

Then go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Set Bend -35% and you get a smile.

Now our zombie looks like a positive maniac. Pretty funny.


Step 14

Draw the neck. It is very easy. Create the shape as shown in the image below with the help of the Shape Builder Tool (M).

Attach the neck to the head.


Step 15

Draw the body using the Pen Tool (P).

Make a shadow on the body using the same technique as in Step 1.


Step 16

Draw two more shapes with the Pencil Tool (N). Use the Shape Builder Tool (M) to delete redundant parts. The result is the shadows on the shoulders.


Step 17

The ribs are created by drawing an arc with the Pen Tool (P). Then make several copies for the other ribs.

Draw two ellipses as shown in the image below. Create the shape of the navel with the help of the Shape Builder Tool (M).

The body is ready. You can attach it to the head.


Step 18

Draw the hand. First make a base for the hand with the rectangles and circles. Go to the Pathfinder panel. Use the Unite to merge it into one shape.

Then simplify this shape. Go Object > Path > Simplify and set Curve Precision between 90 and 100%. Select a value that the shape become like a zombie hand.


Step 19

Draw eight ellipses and create the fingers. Use Pathfinder > Unite to merge it into one shape.

The hand is ready. You can attach it to the body and fill with zombie color. The second hand is a copy of the first.


Step 20

Draw the legs using the same technique as in previous step.

Then attach the legs to the body.

Finally you can add some details. Such as shadows.


Step 21

Now the most interesting part of this tutorial. Let's add further character to our zombie and make him a little cheeky! Draw a black rectangle. Then write "CENSORED" with the Type Tool (T).

Put the "CENSORED" box in place. Now our zombie like a real maniac!


Conclusion

Now the illustration is ready, but there is just one more thing missing... what could our zombie be chasing?

You can draw a lot of different zombies using such technique. When I worked with this tutorial I have decided to create a girlfriend for our character. The result is a funny image for greetings Halloween card.

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